“Green Jobs matter. Make them count.”
This is the theme when the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) convenes industry leaders and workers for Conversations on the Green Jobs Mapping Project today at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Malate, Manila.
The Conversations led by DOLE, through its policy research and advocacy arm, the Institute for Labor Studies, is in support of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Green Jobs Programme for Asia and the Pacific. Industry and labor leaders from eight sectors are expected to tackle climate-friendly products and services and sustainable practices at workplaces in order to describe green jobs and determine where they may be found.
The sectors expected to yield green jobs are Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry, Renewable Energy, Construction, Transport, Manufacturing, Services, Tourism and Solid Waste & Wastewater Management.
“Much has been discussed on a global and local scale on what green jobs are. These definitions have varied from country to country, from industry to industry. We want to hear what industries actually think," said Cynthia R. Cruz, Executive Director of the ILS.
The policy advocacy arm of the DOLE, the ILS has been at the forefront of green jobs research and the effects of climate change to the world of work.
"These consultations with industries will help clarify how industries characterize green jobs and what activities fall under it,” Cruz added.
The ILO and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have defined green jobs as the “direct employment in economic sectors and activities, which reduce their negative environmental impacts, ultimately resulting in levels that are sustainable."
These jobs include but are not limited to jobs that work towards protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, reducing energy, materials and water consumption, de-carbonizing the economy and minimizing all forms of waste and pollution.
Moreover, green jobs integrate decent work and thus must offer safe working conditions, adequate wages, career prospects, job-security and worker rights.
“The Green Jobs Mapping Project will enable the DOLE, in consultation with industry experts, labor and advocates, to measure the extent of greening in industries and therefore count green jobs. As it has always been said, one cannot manage what one cannot count or measure,” said Cruz.
The project will also be instrumental in facilitating the development by government of policies for promoting green jobs generation.
The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011- 2016 includes the greening of jobs as a strategy for creating sustainable and competitive industries and promoting inclusive and sustainable growth. The Philippine Labor and Employment Plan (LEP) 2011-2016, on the other hand, calls for the mainstreaming of green jobs creation in labor market policies.
In June of this year, the Institute held the First Round Table Discussion with Experts participated in by the Climate Change Commission (CCC), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and labor groups such as the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines.
“The development of a green jobs roadmap will be a key element in convening different agencies of the government including business and other development partners for promoting green jobs and decent work,” said Cruz.
Shades of Green
In 2011, the DOLE together with the CCC, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Youth Commission, convened the 1st Philippine Green Jobs Conference in Manila, together with its tripartite partners, ECOP, FFW and TUCP.
The Conference came up with a Green Call to Action which was signed by the heads of participating agencies and organizations. The Green Call serves as the multi-sectoral Conference Resolution that lists individual and collective commitments towards green jobs.
“With the help of our partners we hope that the Green Jobs Mapping Project will tell the story of workers and businesses and the risks and opportunities in these times of climate change and environmental degradation," added Cruz.
"If a map is a process, the Green Jobs Mapping project should ensure that the story of the Philippines should change from unsustainable to sustainable, resulting in benefits for workers and for businesses,” concluded Cruz.
Participating at the consultations are about 150 representatives of the eight industries/sectors (agriculture, fisheries, forestry, construction [buildings], energy [renewable], manufacturing, services, solid and wastewater management, transport, and tourism) who are expected to be part of the workshops on attributes and scope of green jobs in the covered sectors.
The ILS was created in July 1987 by virtue of Executive Order No. 257. Since its creation the Institute has always been at the forefront of labor and employment policy research and advocacy providing strategic policy research for the Department of Labor and Employment.#
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